The nursing regulator has finally clarified how many disabled people have lodged complaints about nurses who have carried out disability benefit assessments for government contractors.The figure produced by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is its third attempt to produce accurate statistics on how many complaints it has received about the conduct of nurses carrying out assessments for personal independence payment (PIP) and employment and support allowance.NMC said that it received just 22 complaints about the conduct of nurse assessors working for Atos, Capita and Maximus during 2016, and not one of them was taken forward past the initial screening stage for further investigation and regulatory action.Many benefit claimants have raised concerns about the apparent refusal of NMC and the Health and Care Professions Council – which regulates paramedics and physiotherapists – to take seriously their complaints about healthcare professionals who carry out assessments.Disability News Service (DNS) has been trying for four months to secure accurate figures on complaints to the NMC about assessors, after originally lodging a freedom of information request in mid-December.NMC first responded in January with figures that showed it had received more than 1,600 complaints in five years about nurses working for Atos, Capita and Maximus.Those figures were published as part of a DNS investigation that showed how healthcare professionals – mostly nurses – working for Capita and Atos have lied, ignored written evidence and dishonestly reported the results of physical examinations in PIP assessment reports compiled for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).But in February, NMC withdrew the figures, blaming its failure to use the correct terms in searching its database. It also said the data it had provided had not been “manually checked or filtered”.It then provided – on 6 February – new figures which suggested that there had been only 29 complaints during the whole of 2016 across the three assessment companies, including just three complaints lodged against Capita nurses, one of which had to be abandoned because of a failure to secure consent.But DNS questioned those statistics because two PIP claimants had come forward to describe how they had lodged complaints about Capita nurses last year.NMC has now produced a new figure, which it insists is accurate, and has apologised for its earlier errors.DNS agreed to narrow down the request to just one year because of restrictions imposed by freedom of information legislation.NMC now says it received just 22 complaints about assessors from the three companies in 2016, and that all 22 were closed at the initial “screening” stage as NMC was “satisfied that these did not meet the threshold for regulatory action”.The figures are likely to bemuse disabled campaigners, and those who contributed to DNS’s investigation, which found significant evidence of concerns about the honesty and competence of nurses who carry out benefits assessments.
WE’VE been asking fans to name their greatest Saints v Warrington moment on our Official Facebook site.Ahead of the Super League match between the two sides on Friday August 30, supporters have been reminiscing over the numerous epic clashes.Keiron Cunningham’s last gasp try at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in 2005 is a stand out, whilst a number have mentioned Sean Long’s late drop goal in the same season.And, there’s a big shout for the Regal Trophy Semi Final in 1996 which saw Saints win 80-0.Get in on the debate by clicking here.Tickets are now on sale for the match which kicks off at 8pm.You can buy at the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.This year’s series is currently split and with playoff positions on the line there’s plenty to play for. #saintsheartbeat
FEISTY, full on and sometimes ferocious… James Roby’s Testimonial had it all and whilst Wigan Warriors won 28-16, there was plenty to enjoy if you’re a Saints fan.The home side were on the front foot for most of the match with Luke Walsh looking all the scrum half the club has been crying out for.The forward line of Kyle Amor and Alex Walmsley led with strength and power all night and the defence was pretty stingy at times too.And, Saints will continue to improve and providing the side continues to gel, there is much to be excited about.As for the game…a friendly? Only on paper perhaps and both sides ploughed into each other from the off!There were 25 penalties and a sin-binning in the 80 minutes…Saints led 12-6 at half time after they soaked up the Warriors pressure.Adam Swift scooped up the ball to go 60 yards after a Wigan mistake whilst Walsh’s towering bomb caused enough problems for James Roby to score.But the defence was just as keen too – denying the Warriors on several occasions.Wigan fired ahead early in the second half but Swift’s second ensured a cracking end to the match.And Saints had chances too, and the possession, but just couldn’t force their way over the line.Gil Dudson and Joe Burgess scoring late on.Whilst the talk of the game was James Roby and the number 9s decade at the club, most fans would have been pleased to see Walsh’s name on the teamsheet as well as Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Adam Swift and Sia Soliola.Wigan also lined up with a strong side with Dan Sarginson and Tony Clubb both getting starts.James Roby received a guard of honour from his teammates – and a rousing round of applause from all four stands at Langtree Park – before the sides ripped into each other.Saints showed good hands and made good yardage on their first set before Walsh pinned Wigan back into their own corner.Both sides then exchanged sets before Saints made the breakthrough.Wigan tried to get the ball out of their own half and such was the force of the home side’s defence, Adam Swift scored the first try.Matty Bowen lost the ball on contact and the winger scooped it up and went 60 yards.Walsh with the conversion.Jonny Lomax stopped a certain try seconds later as the Warriors pushed the pass from a penalty before the home side almost profited again.This time Mark Percival’s pass to Swift was just a little strong.On 20 minutes, Wigan forced a drop out and then won a penalty right on Saints line.And the pressure told with Liam Farrell darting through on the angle to pull the Warriors back into it.Saints almost immediately hit back; Percival breaking on the left hand side and kicking through to force a knock on from Matty Bowen.But the chance was lost as they failed to organise their attacking line.Alex Walmsley was sinbinned with seven to go – more as a result of Saints persistent interference in Phil Bentham’s eyes than anything the big man did.But cometh the hour, cometh the team. With a man down Walsh sent a massive high ball up, Burgess slipped under pressure and Roby mopped up.Walsh making it 12-6 at the break.Compared to the ferocity of the opening first half stages, the second was timid until more penalties handed Wigan field position.And Joe Burgess made no mistake as the ball was sent right.Smith levelling it from the touchline.Matters got worse on Wigan’s next possession – a simple chip over going through hands for Blake Green to get the go ahead try.Swift replied immediately to bring Saints back into it before the home side won a penalty as all players got involved in a melee.Saints then had a lot of possession and field position but couldn’t make it pay.And they were disrupted too when Walsh took a knock to the head forcing Brown to shuffle his side.The chances continued to come though and both Percival and Hohaia would want their time again as the ball got close to the line.And those failures cost them dear as Burgess went over in the corner to seal the win.Gil Dudson scoring at the death.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: Swift (2), Roby,Goals: Walsh (2 from 3)Warriors:Tries: Farrell, Burgess (2), Green, DudsnGoals: Smith (3 from 3), Hampshire (1 from 2)Penalties:Saints: 14Warriors: 11HT: 12-6FT: 16-28REF: P BenthamATT: TBCTeams:Saints:1. Jonny Lomax; 5. Adam Swift, 22. Mark Percival, 4. Josh Jones, 26. Matty Dawson; 3. Jordan Turner, 7. Luke Walsh; 16. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Willie Manu, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.Subs: 6. Lance Hohaia, 11. Sia Soliola, 15. Mark Flanagan, 17. Paul Wellens, 18. Alex Walmsley, 24. Gary Wheeler, 27. Greg Richards, 30. Carl Forster.Warriors:1. Matty Bowen; 32. Joe Burgess, 3. Darrell Goulding, 23. Dan Sarginson, 4. Iain Thornley; 6. Blake Green, 7. Matty Smith; 8. Scott Taylor, 19. Sam Powell, 10. Ben Flower, 12. Liam Farrell, 24. Tony Clubb, 13. Sean O’Loughlin.Subs: 14. Jack Hughes, 15. Logan Tomkins. 16. Gil Dudson, 17. Dom Crosby, 22. Eddy Pettybourne, 25. John Bateman, 26. Ryan Hampshire, 27. George Williams, 28. Jordan James, 31. Dom Manfredi.
NATHAN Brown said the performance in the loss to Hull KR was “unacceptable” considering Saints’ recent results.His side were beaten 40-10 at the KC Lightstream Stadium to leave them still seeking their first win since 2007 over in East Humberside.“Three weeks ago we were poor against Catalan and got a great response,” he said. “We beat Castleford and Wigan who are both doing well, but then to come here and do what we did; we can’t brush that under the carpet.“If there was one like that after a good three months then possibly you could but you can’t ignore two in the space of four weeks.“It doesn’t matter where you sit in the league, the commitment and effort for each other has to be better.“We can’t make emotional decisions but we have to go and look at some things to see how we can make two efforts like that in four weeks.“We have Kyle Amor back training with the team, Anthony Laffranchi has been given the all clear and Matt Dawson, Richie Beaumont and Gary Wheeler – 19th man today – are available. So there are things to look at but we have to be careful.“It isn’t acceptable to toss up what we have in a short period of time.“If you are genuine about Old Trafford then you can’t do what we have done in the last four weeks and consider yourself the best in the competition. If we can’t back up and not be far off then that is not acceptable.”Saints were 14-10 down at half time and that wasn’t a bad position considering the lack of ball says Brown.“I’ve said all week that Hull KR’s league position is false. They’ve had injuries but have players coming back. They played well against the Giants and had a few things go against them.“In the first half, we gave them a couple of intercept tries and they scored after we didn’t find touch on a penalty. At half time we thought we could turn it around but in the second half we had some blokes who have been good for us this year turn in their worst games and that combined across the board meant it just wasn’t good enough.“We had some momentum in the second half but it doesn’t take much to be off in this league – and you can see that from the table.“I thought Mose Masoe and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook were great today and the last two weeks have been their best performances of the season.”
THREE intrepid Rugby League supporters are embarking on an epic journey to raise money for Rugby League Cares – the umbrella charity of Rugby League and raise awareness for our sport as a whole.Rugby League Cares works in supporting four main areas of Rugby League: protecting the heritage, grants for grassroots Rugby League and other areas, player welfare and the benevolent fund which is currently supporting the family of recently injured Conor Lynes.It also works directly with the Steve Prescott Foundation and State of Mind.The volunteers aim to raise £3,000 which could help the charity positively affect the lives of even more people involved in Rugby League.Dan and his two friends Beck and Mike have purchased an old 02 plate Renault Scenic and set off on their journey on Saturday April 4 to arrive in Perpignan for Monday April 6 in time for the Catalans Dragons Vs Widnes Vikings Super League fixture.They are hoping to receive donations along the way in the form of car merchandise to help make their old motor look like a Rugby League Fun Bus on the way into Perpignan and are also asking to have their car signed by every available first team player in Super League!Currently ticked off the #InkOnMetal car signing list are Leeds Rhinos, Huddersfield Giants, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Hull FC, Salford Red Devils, St Helens, Castleford, Wigan and Warrington, with Widnes and Hull KR coming up over the following week, concluding with Catalan on Monday just before their fixture with Widnes Vikings.The group will be roughing it – eschewing hotels for tents – and using only good old fashioned maps for navigation.They will also be engaging via social media with all of their details below for Rugby League fans to follow them on their journey. They will even be uploading Vlog updates via youtube during their Road Trip and hope to interact with as many Rugby League fans as possible.These fans really are going to some lengths to get every Super League club on board for what is speculated to be a first in professional sport – were every first team player of the top division of a league competition sign the same vehicle.Following their return the vehicle will become Rugby League Cares official mascot for 2015 and fans may get a chance to see it at prestigious events such as Magic Weekend and even the Super League Grand Final where fans can have a look at their team’s signatures and get pictures.Katie Irwin, Operations Manager of RLCares commented: “We are proud to be associated with Dan, Beck and Mike’s journey and are extremely humbled to have been chosen as their nominated charity. The generosity of ordinary fans of Rugby League never ceases to amaze us, and we will be offering any help we can to the lads along the way.”The Rugby League Road Trip team added: “This began as a normal away day plan as we have always wanted to travel to Perpignan. However it presented a great opportunity for us to raise awareness for our sport and the great work Rugby League Cares does from supporting growth at grassroots to helping Rugby League stars find a career after Rugby League. Our sport is truly unique and this was proved after only a few phone calls and clubs started organising dates for signing our car.“We sincerely appreciate the generosity of these large businesses and thank them for their support. We hope our trip can entertain fans and they join us on our journey through social media and help us raise as much money as possible for a great cause! Our aim is £3000 but with the help of ordinary fans like us we could raise an amount of money that will positively affect the lives of thousands of people involved in Rugby League nationwide.”You can follow the Rugby League Road Trip a number of ways:Twitter – @RL_RoadTripFacebook – www.facebook.com/RugbyLeagueRoadTripYoutube – www.youtube.com/channel/UC7pOBmi8u0kYVe_ZcfOtX3wAnd you can donate directly to Rugby League Cares through Dan’s JustGiving account: www.justgiving.com/RLRoadTrip or by texting ‘RLRT99 £2′ to 70070 to donate £2.See www.rugbyleaguecares.org for more information
For all the latest from the game, click on the Match Centre button to follow the feed and enjoy exclusive content throughout the 80 minutes! The game kicks off at 3pm and team news will arrive from around 1.45pm!